Reported in the journal Oncogene in 2013, Professor Lisa Butler (pictured left) and collaborators, including the Centre’s Professor Wayne Tilley and senior author, Professor Karen Knudsen from the Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University in USA. inhibition of the cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinase/retinoblastoma (CDK4/6) pathway that is critical for cell replication may have a role in controlling some human cancers where this pathway is amplified. Using the human prostate cancer explant model developed in the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories. The CDK4/6 inhibitor impaired the capacity of prostate cancer cells in human prostate tumours to proliferate and that this could be achieved independent of concurrent treatment with hormone-based therapy and radiotherapy.
Professor Butler now leads the Prostate Cancer Research Group at SAHMRI which focuses on therapeutics and lipids in prostate cancer.  Nearly five years later and with funding from Cancer Australia, Professor Butler and with medical oncologist Professor Lisa Horvath from the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in NSW, are now testing the safety and potential effect of the same CDK4/6 inhibitor (ribociclib) in an early phase clinical trial in men undergoing surgery for high risk, localised prostate cancer. THese CDK4/6 inhibitors are already being used to treat women with breast cancer.
For the study, men receive 400mg of oral ribociclib daily for 21 days prior to prostate surgery.  Markers of cancer cell proliferation will be Biopsies of the prostate cancer prior to treatment and then at the time of prostatectomy will be compared for . Men are being evaluated for safety signals to ensure the drug is safe to proceed to larger studies,
It is hoped this research will help demonstrate the activity of this drug against prostate cancers, and lay the groundwork for more trials.
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The Hon Tony Piccolo MP (Member for Light) has been a passionate and committed member of the Board of Patrons of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health since the Centre’s inception.  Tony recently spoke about the Centre and the organisations in his community working to advance men’s health and wellbeing at the SA Men’s Health awards during Men’s Health week. He followed this up in his speech to SA Parliament on 2 July.  See Hansard extract below.

House of Assembly
Extract from Hansard:  Tuesday 2nd July 2019 Page 6526 – 6527


The Hon. A. PICCOLO (Light) (15:21): Today, I would like to speak briefly about a couple of things. First, I would like to speak about a recent event, the Men’s Health Awards, held during Men’s Health Week. I attended the awards, and I would like to acknowledge that Dr Harvey, the member for Newland, was also present on behalf of the government. The awards are sponsored by the Australian Men’s Health Forum, a national organisation that seeks to bring together the various men’s health groups across the nation to improve the health of men and boys in Australia.

A couple of the messages that came from that event included, as is the case in most countries of the world, that we are starting to understand that the most effective way to address both women’s and men’s health is by a sex-specific approach that recognises differences. In April this year, the commonwealth government released a men’s health strategy and a women’s health strategy for the next 10 years that recognises the need for this sex-specific approach to make inroads, particularly in the area of young men’s health, depression and chronic disease.

First, it is important we understand and acknowledge that supporting men in their social environment is important for their health and wellbeing, and so we need to better understand how men are faring in our communities. There is a whole range of ways that a number of community organisations support men in their communities. In my own community of Light, for example, we have Willo’s Men’s Shed, one of the many men’s sheds across the country that provide a lot of support for men in their community, offering them the opportunity to gather and talk about men’s issues but that also offer a safe place for men to discuss issues of concern to them. Each men’s shed right across the country is quite different, reflecting the nature of those communities.

Also in my electorate, I would like to acknowledge the work undertaken by John Goodger and his team at Anglicare SA, who coordinate the Northern Men’s Wellbeing Network, which champions men’s health and wellbeing, particularly for dads and children, in the Playford region. Organisations such as this are important at the local level as they create the right setting for conversations about the elements that make men healthy in the communities in which they live.

The decline in manufacturing and other traditional blue-collar employment has displaced many men from the workforce, leading to considerable stress on men and their families in my region, and the network helps to provide the support these men need. Networks such as this also place great effort on ensuring that their efforts are inclusive and reflect the needs of men right across the community, including young men, Indigenous men and men from emerging cultural communities.

I am also a proud member of the Board of Patrons of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health based at the University of Adelaide. The Centre is an initiative of the Freemasons Foundation, the charitable arm of the Freemasons in South Australia and the Northern Territory. I am not a member of the Freemasons but my son is. The Freemasons Foundation has invested more than $3.6 million, matched by the University of Adelaide, to support men’s health initiatives and to support salary and scholarships for young scientists working in men’s health, not only here at the University of Adelaide but across all universities.

So, Mr Speaker, when you go out to the countryside and go past a Masonic lodge, you should acknowledge that there are people behind the scenes raising funds for important works like men’s health. Professor Wittert, who is the Director of the Men’s Health Centre at the University of Adelaide, leads a team of researchers and scientists who do important work. Their work is having an impact right across the world because their research is leading the area of men’s health nationally and internationally.

I also acknowledge the contribution of Mr Robert Clyne OAM, the Foundation’s Executive Director, for his role in establishing the Centre and its ongoing success. I also mention the fact that the Centre is undertaking what is called the MAILES study, which stands for Men Androgen Inflammation Lifestyle Environment and Stress, which is one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies of men’s health and wellbeing regarding ageing. This is being undertaken in the northern and western suburbs of Adelaide. This research is critical to informing the practice of better service delivery to men and boys in our community. Healthy men and healthy young boys mean we have healthy families and healthy communities.

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The Centre congratulates Dr Kootsy Canuto, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit at SAHMRI, on being awarding an Emerging Leadership Investigator Grant in the recently announced National Health and Medical Research Council funding announcements.  His 5 year award of $650,750 is titled “Enough talk, time for action: Developing, implementing and evaluating co-designed approaches to enhance Primary Health Care service engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men”.   Kootsy completed his PhD in 2018 and was a student member of the FFCMH, His supervisors were Professor Alex Brown and Professor Gary Wittert.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men have the worse health outcomes of any population group in Australia. Primary Health Care Services (PHCSs) are well placed to improve health and wellbeing, however, several barriers to utilisation have been identified. The grant will allow Kootsy to implement the findings from his PhD, to enhance engagement between PHCSs and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men by implementing co-designed strategies evaluated using a continuous quality improvement approach.

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Dr Phillip Tully is a Psychologist and a post-doctoral Research Fellow in the FFCMH leading the Vascular and Brain Health research group. He is funded by a TRIP (translating research into practice) Fellowship from the Commonwealth Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council. Phillip’s clinical and research interests focus on two of the three leading causes of disease burden […]

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The 8th National Men’s Shed Gathering will be held at the Morphettville Racecourse Adelaide, SA and is expected to attract over 300 delegates. It aims to promote the Community of Men’s Sheds throughout Australia and the contribution Men’s Sheds make to their own communities. Delegates will come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, including ‘shedders’, shed coordinators, […]

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The Centre congratulates A/Professor John Litt AM on being appointed as Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to preventive medicine as an influenza specialist. We have been privileged to have John as a member of the Centre’s Scientific Advisory Committee since its inception in 2007.  He is recognised for his expertise in […]

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Movember continues to support advances in the care of men with prostate cancer through the award of a research grant to Centre members Dr Michael O’Callaghan from the South Australian Prostate Cancer Clinical Outcomes Collaborative (SA-PCCOC, Prostate Cancer Registry), Dr Andrew Vincent and the Investigator team. The research will involve using data collected by the South […]

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On June 13, during Men’s Health Week, the Centre hosted the Australian Men’s Health Forum’s SA Men’s Health Awards at which the SA Men’s Health Report card was released and community organisations across South Australia working to advance the health and well-being of men and boys were acknowledged and celebrated.  A number of these organisations […]

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Commenting on a review article published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) on erectile dysfunction, FFCMH Director, Professor Gary Wittert told the MJA that “there are two questions that a GP should never miss asking every man who comes for a consult – one is about erectile dysfunction and the other is about lower […]

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In 2010 Professors Wayne Tilley and Lisa Buter (pictured left) and Dr Maggie Centenera from the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories of the FFCMH joined an international team from Thomas Jefferson University, the University of Michigan and University of Texas South Western Medical Centre (USA) for a research program which ultimately described for the first time how a gene (unit of […]

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